Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said in support of the Royal British Legion’s calls for the Government to halt plans to abolish the Chief Coroner, said:
“In failing to respond to the Royal British Legion’s campaign the Government are failing Forces’ families.
“The ink is still drying on the Armed Forces Act which enshrined the Military Covenant in law and already the Government’s commitment to the principles it lauded are being called into question.
“There is an emotive and essential case for a Chief Coroner, which will create an independent and expert coronial system for all bereaved families.
“All parties should come together on a cross-party basis to urge the Prime Minister to think again.”
A Royal British Legion spokesperson said:
“Labour MPs and Peers have been consistent in backing our campaign for a Chief Coroner, and we are deeply grateful to them and Parliamentarians from all parties for their support. The appointment of a Chief Coroner, with the powers vested in the office by the Coroners and Justice Act, depends on it being removed from the Public Bodies Bill.
“How we, as a nation, support our bereaved families, especially bereaved Armed Forces families, should surely be above party politics, as Parliament demonstrated when it passed the law to create the Chief Coroner with cross-party support only two years ago. We would like again to thank MPs of all parties who supported the reforms within that Act, and urge them to support our call for the Chief Coroner to be left out of the Public Bodies Bill, so that one can be appointed as soon as possible. We therefore welcome the Labour Friend of the Forces’ group’s support for our campaign.”